West Seattle Crime Watch: Vandal smashes window at nonprofit Discovery Shop, which has to raise repair money

After questions about why the front window is boarded up at the nonprofit Discovery Shop in The Junction, we contacted volunteer Suzanne Rowe (who had just e-mailed us about some new features there), and she has just responded with the photo and report:

As the Discovery Shop was preparing to close at 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon, a person passing by on the street intentionally smashed our front window either with his foot or with his backpack. The police were called and they did take a report and interviewed witnesses. Luckily, no one in the store or other pedestrians was hurt when the giant sheet of glass broke. Those in the store said it sounded like gunfire when it happened.

What makes this event even more unfortunate is our insurance will not cover the costs of replacing the window. The Discovery Shop has to pay the entire cost and that means less money going to the American Cancer Society. We hope the community will still stop by and support our store as we work to replace the window. Again, according to witness accounts, this was done intentionally in broad daylight with people standing nearby, making for a potentially dangerous situation.

The shop at 4535 California SW is open today until 4:30 pm. According to its website, one way they’re hoping to raise window-repair money is via a special sale on pants tomorrow and Sunday.

30 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Vandal smashes window at nonprofit Discovery Shop, which has to raise repair money"

  • celeste17 August 29, 2014 (11:11 am)

    How sad! !

  • flimflam August 29, 2014 (11:34 am)

    what a stupid, wasteful thing to do. can’t think of anything better to do with yourself? pretty low.

  • G August 29, 2014 (11:49 am)

    The perpetrator needs to be flogged – in public. My elderly mother goes there frequently, luckily she, or anyone else, wasn’t in the store. Just more evidence in favoring of moving her out of West Seattle. WTF is going on in West Seattle??

  • JanS August 29, 2014 (12:06 pm)

    G…crime happens everywhere. Move her to Ballard? Think it doesn’t happen there? How about Queen Anne? Crime free? Madison Park…? don’t fool yourself. Burien? Laughable. East side? Do you honestly think they don’t have crime there?

    I have lived in West Seattle for over 39 years, an east coast transplant. I feel safer here than I ever would in my home town of Reading , PA.

    What’s happening in West Seattle? You’re hearing about it more, that’s all. That’s due to technology, and to West Seattle Blog. If you didn’t hear about it, if you were oblivious, would it be safer?

  • sc August 29, 2014 (12:17 pm)

    Will there be a window repair cash donation jar in the store? I would love to contribute!

  • Eileen August 29, 2014 (12:55 pm)

    Agreed on the window donation jar! My family shops here often

  • seaopgal August 29, 2014 (1:33 pm)

    Curious about the insurance situation. Seems lame that the building owner doesn’t have insurance that covers vandalism.

  • G August 29, 2014 (1:44 pm)


    This is what I’ve observed myself, and what I’ve heard from neighbors – the blog is only one part of the picture. What level of crime are you, or other West Seattleites, willing to accept? Will we keep making comparisons to other places, until the day comes when we become _________, State? Maybe throwing a rock through a shop manned by elderly folks who are raising money for cancer shop is all in a day’s work now, but then it’s a sad, sad day in West Seattle. My gut feeling is that West Seattle is in some sort of waking slumber and needs to be woken up.

  • Adam August 29, 2014 (1:49 pm)

    They need a new insurance company. Why have insurance if it won’t pay for stuff like this?

  • Winni August 29, 2014 (2:52 pm)

    Yes there is a donation jar on our counter. We appreciate the support of all our friends and customers! Thank you!

  • Alkiwendy August 29, 2014 (3:01 pm)

    Did the police catch the person responsible for this?

  • A dose of reality August 29, 2014 (3:03 pm)

    JanS – not entirely true. Seattle continues to rise nationally in property crime. Not good. In fact in 2012, we were 5 times higher than New York City and trumped places like Boston, Phoenix, Chicago, New Orleans, and LA.
    See for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate
    I’ll dig up some specific stats on West Seattle. You may “feel safer” here, but that doesn’t mean the data supports you.

  • Kadoo August 29, 2014 (4:25 pm)

    Agree the insurance policy is lame if it doesn’t cover vandalism.

  • Rick August 29, 2014 (4:44 pm)

    Please don’t try to confuse me with facts!

  • Kathi Sean August 29, 2014 (4:58 pm)

    I am so incredibly saddened… All the miraculous work that is accomplished by the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop and their dedicated volunteers…this is so disheartening..maybe the vandal could be held accountable for their actions.

  • Cecelia August 29, 2014 (5:08 pm)

    How much does it cost to replace the window?

  • JanS August 29, 2014 (5:39 pm)

    G…you made a statement about moving your mom out of West Seattle. I’m 67…I can walk across the street to Safeway after dark still. Reading, PA? You don’t go out after dark, certainly not walking, if you value yourself, and your belongings. My point was…yes, crime happens in West Seattle. Where would that “safe” place be to move your momin and around Seattle. And, yes, we do hear about it more now. In 1980, if you didn’t read about it in the Times, or see on the news at 5, or maybe in the WS Herald, you didn’t know quite so much about it. Now, with instantaneous news via blog, twitter, cell phone texting, etc., etc. you hear about it more.

    I’m a cancer survivor. I am saddened that someone would do this at 4:30pm on a busy afternoon and street just for what? kicks? Sad that no one could catch the perpetrator, too. But…actually think about leaving WS because of the crime? Nope..that’s giving in. That lets them win, in my book.

    Yes, I think it’s reprehensible that the Discovery Store has had this happen, that the burden is on them to repair. It’s very sad, indeed.

  • Cãrlãinthebãrrã August 29, 2014 (7:18 pm)

    If I’m not mistaken, it wasn’t a rock that was thrown. It was his foot or backpack that caused the window to break. There were witnesses that saw it, did they make anarrest?
    IMO west Seattle is as safe as anywhere that people live! There are bad people in this world no matter where we are!!!

  • 2 Much Whine August 30, 2014 (9:31 am)

    C’mon “A dose of reality.” I don’t mean to nitpick but if you do the math you will see that the crime statistics you quote do NOT show that we have 5X as much property crime as NY city. It’s less than 3X (2.95X to be precise). In addition, NY City had the lowest number of property crimes REPORTED of all cities in the table you referenced. Could this be because people just don’t report property crimes there because they know nothing can/will be done? Just because it didn’t get reported doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. We’re about even with Portland and Fresno according to the numbers.

    Also keep in mind that below the table you reference they clearly state “The FBI web site recommends against using its data for ranking because these rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with their residents.” Using the data for ranking is exactly what you did.

    Sooooo, when you tell JanS her comments are not entirely true, you might want to look a little closer at your own statements.

    Climbing off my high horse I do have to agree that any level of crime is not a good thing and we need to work together as a community to reduce it.

  • 020411 August 30, 2014 (10:41 am)

    I agree with seaopgal, shouldn’t the landlord take care of this?

  • Winni August 30, 2014 (10:48 am)

    It cost $438 for the emergency board-up of our window and we are still getting quotes for our new window. We are greatful for any donations dropped off at our shop. Checks may be made out to “West Seattle Discovery Shop” to help offset this unexpected significant expense. We really value the community’s interest and support. Thank you.

  • patt August 30, 2014 (10:57 am)

    Five or 6 years ago there used to be cameras one could access online at West Seattle Computers and I think Azuma Sushi. And I would think that Menashe’s has one in house.

    If they are still there, has anyone checked them out? If there were witnesses there should be a time, if there is a time there would be a time stamp and all that on the video.

  • Emily August 30, 2014 (1:09 pm)

    So sorry to hear this!

  • cid August 31, 2014 (8:12 am)

    I’m curious…the person kicked out a window in broad daylight in front of witnesses in the Junction and NO one got a picture of him and he got away? Surely there is info that can’t be shared yet?

  • phil dirt August 31, 2014 (8:57 am)

    West Seattle has its share of the criminally inclined who would do this sort of thing. Hopefully, some of the rest of us will help out with donations.

  • heidi August 31, 2014 (12:29 pm)

    It’s unfortunate that something like this happens to an organization doing great work to raise money for such a worthy cause. However, it is reassuring to see the WS community rally around to help them out.

  • Gabriel August 31, 2014 (6:44 pm)

    What a bummer.

  • Paula September 1, 2014 (5:04 pm)

    Wouldn’t want to be dragging around that person’s dark karma.

  • Molly September 3, 2014 (12:44 pm)

    Sorry to hear about this! Hoping the Discovery Shop will be back on its feet soon.

  • Donovan September 3, 2014 (10:21 pm)

    Regarding insurance: A friend’s shop in Renton had a large plate glass window broken plus other damage when a car ran thru it. It was not his insurance that paid for repairs, but the building owner’s insurance. Just wondering if they checked with the building owner for his insurance. Hope the donations will be rolling in…

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